While raising capital to provide affordable housing opportunities is our core business, NASLEF member funds also actively provide value-added services to our partners in the industry. Many member funds serve vulnerable populations by investing resources into programs and activities that impact residents’ lives. Member funds have developed philanthropic affiliates and foundations that fund programs that assist residents socially, economically, and educationally.
Examples for 2018 from Member Funds include:
- The CAHEC Foundation: As an affiliate of CAHEC, the CAHEC Foundation offers wellness and education initiatives to residents living in areas that CAHEC serves. In addition to CAHEC’s current menu of Community Investments grants, the CAHEC Foundation creates opportunities that go beyond affordable housing to help residents receive the critical resources they need to succeed. In 2018, CAHEC and the CAHEC Foundation granted $738,793.
- Virginia Community Development Corporation (VCDC): In 2008, VCDC established the Vern Henley Special Initiatives Grant Program that awards VCDC partners grants of up to $40,000 annually. Funds awarded through this program provide activities, services, equipment, or programming to better the lives of residents throughout our portfolio of communities.
- In addition, in 2015 VCDC developed an intensive organizational development program called the Nonprofit Sustainability Challenge (NSC). Over the course of a year, two leaders from each participating nonprofit housing or community development organization identify and pursue the most pressing challenge(s) to the long-term sustainability of their operation. The program helps to ensure success through providing ongoing support by skilled coaches and peer groups, relevant reading assignments, the introduction and reinforcement of useful tools and frameworks that have proven to be successful in driving performance-based outcomes. The program, now approaching its fourth offering, has been the catalyst for significant transformational change in 20 nonprofit participants to date. The fourteen organizations from the first two cohorts have collectively realized over $7,500,000 in improvements to their balance sheets during their year-long participation in the program, allowing those funds to be put back to work in the most vulnerable communities they serve. By the time the fourth cohort is completed in June of 2020, VCDC will have invested over $665,000 to support the Nonprofit Sustainability program, which ultimately be leveraged many times over to benefit the communities served by the program participants.
- Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH’s) philanthropic affiliate, the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, funds programs targeted to neighborhoods and residents where OCCH has investments in affordable housing. More than $21 million in grants to partners has been awarded since 2012 in these areas: Resident Development Fund, Partners, Neighborhoods, and Community Properties Impact Fund. In 2018, more than $3.8 million was awarded for activities such as summer camp for residents’ children, neighborhood initiatives, property improvement, wellness, youth empowerment and engagement activities, senior activities, and the Jerry Grier Scholarship program, which assists residents with post-secondary education.
- Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC): MHIC operates a Charitable Contribution budget that starts at $25,000. MHIC also purchases MA Community Investment Tax Credits (CITC) each year, the proceeds of which go directly to eligible CDCs.
- Housing Vermont is operating the Parsons Platform, a cloud-based data collection and monitoring system for optimizing energy related investments in 12 properties this year. Through constant monitoring, the Platform revealed the water pumps in the district heating plant at Peter Coe Apartments in Middlebury, VT were set much too high, causing excess electricity consumption. A simple adjustment resulted in $1,500 savings annually in reduced electricity usage and less wear and tear on the systems. Further monitoring and analysis allowed HV to optimize the performance of the boiler system and to determine a back-up boiler recommended by the engineer was not needed. This saved the property $15,000 in unnecessary equipment costs and an additional $10,000 annual savings in fuel costs. The $11,500 annual savings realized by the Parsons Platform at Peter Coe Apartments helps support and sustain other important investments that improve residents’ lives, such as free Wifi, participation in a local mentoring and enrichment programming and access to a range of services through HV Connections, HV’s program to build connections between community resources and residents.
- Merritt Community Capital Corporation: Merritt offers funding for educational advancement. In 2016, Francisco State University awarded $23,434 to 3 students and California State University East Bay awarded $9,215 to 1 student.
- Northern New England Housing Investment Fund’s scholarship program, “Investing in Your Success” is designed to help meet the training needs of our Partners by providing funds to supplement their training budgets. We know training is essential to doing a job well and many organizations are stretched thin right now. This program is one way for us to say: “we value the work you do and we support you”. Eligible training includes LIHTC compliance related training, conferences, soft skills and maintenance related training. In 2018, $15k in scholarship funds was disbursed to 38 partners in Maine & New Hampshire helping to support the training of 115 staff.
Other funding includes:
- Providing homeownership grants
- Funding community programs
- Funding food banks
- Providing scholarship opportunities to residents
- Funding neighborhood development
- Providing funds for tutoring, computer classes, and summer camp for residents’ children
Member funds engage development and management partners by providing opportunities for training and education on a regular basis. Examples include:
- Holding annual affordable housing conferences with industry speakers
- Providing property management training
- Providing individualized training to partners
- Developing training on energy, construction, and asset management
- Providing compliance training to property managers
- Offering a training academy to partners which provides property management and maintenance courses
Member funds recognize that importance of providing technical assistance to partners navigating HUD and Housing Finance Agencies programs. Assistance is given in:
- Understanding and usage of HOME funds
- HUD Section 8 regulations
- Development consulting
- Understanding RAD and mixed-finance funding
- Rural development assistance
- Housing agency programs and funding
Member funds are actively involved in state and federal housing policy issues, engaging lobbyists, and serving on:
- Local housing councils and agencies
- Boards and executive committees of housing trade associations
- Legislative Advocacy groups
Member funds focus on raising capital and providing equity for affordable housing development and preservation. Many funds also offer loan products or operate a Certified Development Financial Institutions Program that offers:
- Predevelopment and acquisitions lending products
- Bridge loan financing
- Gap financing
- Construction loan financing
- Permanent financing
- New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC’s)